Socialist Worker

Wall-E: A robots’ eye view of love, rubbish and Earthly crisis

by Sian Ruddick
Issue No. 2111



This film is about a small, rather mucky robot called WALL-E whose main purpose is to compress and stack cubes of rubbish.

The corporation Buy N Large that dominated the lives of humans on Earth has fulfilled its promise of taking humans far away from the mess they created.

It has transported civilisation onto a space ship of corporate overkill – where the same logo that pokes out, rotting and rusty from the mounds of garbage on Earth, flashes from every part of the spaceship.

The film taps into widespread concerns about the planet and environmental destruction.

Buy N Large advertisements still flicker in the gloom on Earth boasting how “there’s plenty of space in Space” to dump rubbish.

The film also nods to the idea that we are living in a world of disposable over-consumption.

So as WALL-E sorts the junk each day, things that catch his robot eye are stored in his shed.

Among these are circuit boards he uses to repair himself, bubble wrap, rubix cubes and an ipod.

This shows both the virtues of recycling and a critique of the society that creates all this stuff.

When EVE, a smooth modern robot, arrives to scan for life on Earth, WALL-E is for a short time terrified, then swiftly falls in love – inspired by the repeated clip of Hello Dolly that his video player shows.

When the humans, floating in corporate space, hear that EVE has discovered a tiny plant, they set out back to Earth.

While this film certainly captures the danger the current system poses to the planet, it doesn’t say who’s to blame or what to do about it.

But it is a very enjoyable film for children and adults alike, with a fantastic soundtrack and animation. I highly recommend it – and I don’t even like cartoons!

At cinemas now 

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Article information

Tue 22 Jul 2008, 19:22 BST
Issue No. 2111
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